April 2022
  • President's Update
  • Treasurer's Update
  • Labour Relations Officer Update
  • Committee Reports
  • MRSA Events
  • General Announcements

President's Update 

The tulips and lilies are up in my garden! Surely this means spring is here, right?

Payroll changes
The university has recently communicated to employees that we are transitioning to a biweekly system of pay from our current practice of twice monthly pay. The Board has determined that it is necessary to transition to this pay schedule due to significant concerns about the stability of the process of getting paid. Mindful of the ongoing administrative challenges that our employer has identified, it was imperative that we agree to this change given our responsibility to act in the best interest of our members. We needed to ensure that our members would be paid without interruption on a regular basis.

This means there is a permanent modification to Article 16.3 in our current Collective Agreement, which required the MRSA to sign off on a Memo of Understanding to indicate our understanding of this action. It also afforded the MRSA to have an opportunity to negotiate the terms of this changeover, and thus the university has agreed to the MRSA request to provide opportunities (pay advance) to ensure that employees are not without financial means for the significant lag time between pay periods. The 90 days notice serves to provide consideration to employees of this transition and determine a personal financial plan to offset the impact of this change over. 

This change in payroll impacts the entire campus community (staff, faculty and exempt employees). This university decision falls under Article 8, Management Rights:

8.1 All matters not specifically covered by the provisions of this Agreement are vested exclusively with the Board. 
8.2 The Association acknowledges that it shall be the exclusive right of the University to operate and manage its business in all respects, unless otherwise provided for by this Collective Agreement. 
8.3 In administering this Agreement, the University shall act in a manner which accounts for operational requirements and will not act in an arbitrary, discriminatory or bad faith manner.  

I have heard that some of our MRSA members feel that this decision was made without consultation with the community, but I want to advise you that as elected members of the Negotiations Committee, these conversations happen in confidentiality during the bargaining process and cannot be shared in advance. Given that this change to Article 16.3 had to happen in advance of finalizing our negotiations for a new collective agreement, it was necessary to separately negotiate the terms of this pay alteration and sign off the Memo of Understanding in order to give our employees advance notice. 

While I am more than aware that this will be a difficult transition for all of us, I do want to assure our members that the Labour Relations Committee and the Negotiations Committee continue to arbitrate for your rights and well being in the workplace. Laine is working with HR and Payroll directly to respond to questions and concerns that our members are bringing forward.

Coffee Chat
Our March Coffee Chat saw a record 129 staff attend!  The subject of our chat was Payroll Changes and I'm  dropping the link to watch this chat back for those that couldn't join us. We have asked Payroll to offer some information sessions for our staff and these dates will be shared with you once finalized. The FAQ information in mymru has also been updated in response to some of the questions you asked in our coffee chat. In the meantime, please continue to forward any questions to

Nominations for MRSA Executive and EDT Committee
A reminder that nominations will open April 14 - May 2 for several positions on our Executive Board and the EDT Committee. Please take a look at the available positions below and consider yourself or a colleague(s) for one of these opportunities. We count on our membership to help drive our Association as an independent union.  

Have a cookie on us!
The MRSA Executive will be setting up a table on Mainstreet to pass out cookies and connect. Ask us questions, let's talk about nominations, and connect with us. Look for our table on April 12 (10:30 - 12:30) and April 20 (12:30 - 2:30). 

I can't end my update without acknowledging Easter, which is celebrated in my home. Easter represents renewal and hope and I want to leave you with this message. We have endured some tough times over the last two years, but the fog is lifting and we have the freedom to come together and celebrate our April traditions. Let's continue to keep those enduring difficult times in our hearts and minds and endeavour to do whatever we can to support and uplift them.



Michelle LoGullo | President
Mount Royal Staff Association

Treasurer's Update 

Well we made it through March and are looking forward to spring. I have seen the first true signs of spring - robins and gophers!

The Audit and Finance committee is busily working away on the budget. Again we are taking a "zero based" approach, which means scrutinizing and rationalizing each line item in the budget. The plan is to take the budget to the Executive on the April 20th meeting for review and potential approval in advance of presenting the approved budget to the members at the spring AGM on May 18th.

In other Audit and Finance news...

Audit and Finance has a responsibility to the Association and its' members to manage our financial assets as effectively as possible recognizing that, whatever is decided regarding MRSA investments, the principle must never be jeopardized.  As our defence fund grows, we feel it is important to consider some professional advice on how to manage these assets.  Because financial products can be complex, professional advice could help identify the products that best meet the MRSA’s needs. Financial advice could help the MRSA to improve investment returns by identifying all products that match the MRSA’s goals and liquidity and risk parameters. As well, the advertised terms of financial products are often not the best possible terms.  For instance, it is well known that posted mortgage rates can be significantly higher than the rates available to brokers or buyers willing to negotiate.  This may be the case for products the MRSA invests in, and professional advice may give us a better understanding of how to identify these options.  To this end the Audit and Finance committee has received approval from the Executive to engage a fee for service financial advisor. We are in the process of determining next steps and will report back in the next newsletter.  Thanks to committee member Chad Miller for providing this rationale.


Submitted by Craig Baskett on behalf of the Audit and Finance Committee - Mariberth Blanco, Cyndi Cave, Johanna Franconeri , Michelle Logullo, Chad Miller,  and Christine Pepper.

"Poor budgeting = when you have too much month at the end of your money"

Labour Relations Officer Update

Happy Spring everyone!  I am so looking forward to better weather, things growing in my garden and progress for many of our outstanding concerns.  I am happy to report that we have some progress to share with you today.


We have met with the Board of Governors Bargaining Committee (BoG) for several dates since our last newsletter and we have made some clear progress.  Due to changing strategy from “interest based” bargaining to “positional” we have been able to achieve agreement with the BoG on several articles and several more are nearly agreed to.  Articles which are no longer in negotiations and have been closed are Article 3, 4, 9, 12, 19, 32, 33, 37.

 When we agree to articles at the bargaining table it means that we have “agreed in principle” on your behalf.  Which means your MRSA Collective Bargaining Committee believes we have achieved satisfactory agreement which you, our membership, will ratify once we reach a tentative agreement.  

However, we do have several sticky points in bargaining, largely regarding monetary items.  This is no surprise given the very difficult bargaining conditions we’ve seen through this process.  There are significant differences this round due to legislation that applies to the BoG, specifically the Public Service Employer’s Act.  This Act requires that the BoG remains within the mandate provided by the Alberta Government.  This is despite the fact that the University has posted a surplus.  

However, please be assured that the MRSA will use all tools available to reach the best possible outcome for your collective agreement.

MRU Pay-Cycle Change

We discussed this topic at our coffee chat on March 29 and provided our own email update on March 22.  We had lively and challenging discussions regarding this very important matter.  Thanks to everyone for trusting the MRSA by asking hard questions and seeking fulsome responses.  Please inquire to if you would like access to this information again.

 I am continuing to engage with human resources for updated information.  I do recommend that you visit the MyMRU page for updated information.  HR is updating and providing information on a regular basis there.  If you have individual questions, please write  

You will be without pay for a period of 27 days from June 15 to July 12, with a reduced pay period between.  You aren’t required to do anything currently, but we do recommend you review how this change will impact you individually and what options are available to reduce the impact of this change.  

 General Labour Relations

At this time  the MRSA has one grievance, regarding the Vaccination Directive, which has been forwarded to arbitration.  Arbitration dates have been set for February/March 2023. 

We continue to have no clear agreement for parameters of remote working arrangements with your employer.  We know this is a matter of significant concern and continue to work to seek agreement.  In the interim please continue to engage with your direct managers to express your desire to work remotely.  Should you be denied a request, you may consider filing a grievance.  Please reach out to me at for review.

Lunch n’ Learns

  • Please see below for information in the Events section.


Stay safe,

Laine Fowler
Labour Relations Officer

2022 General Election

The call for nominations will open on April 14 at 9 a.m. and close on May 2 at 4 p.m.
Help strengthen the Association's future by considering the following roles:  

President: One member; two-year term 2022-2024
Candidates for President must be full-time, twelve (12) month employees and are required to have served a minimum of one (1) year on the MRSA Executive Board.

Vice-President: Two members; one member, one-year term 2022-2023; one member, two-year term 2022-2024
Candidates for Vice-President(s) must be full-time employees or full-time continuing term employees and commit to a twelve (12) month serving capacity, regardless of their employment hours designation. Candidates for Vice-President(s) are recommended to have served a minimum of one (1) year as a representative on the Executive or have relevant experience.

Treasurer: One member; two-year term 2022-2024
Candidates for Treasurer must be full-time employees or full-time continuing term employees and commit to a twelve (12) month serving capacity, regardless of their employment hours designation. Candidates for Treasurer are recommended to have served a minimum of one (1) year as a representative on the Executive or have relevant experience. It is strongly recommended that the Treasurer has a working knowledge of basic accounting principles and budgeting in order to fulfill the responsibilities of this role.

Director at Large: Four members, two-year terms 2022-2024                      
Candidates for Director-at-Large positions must be full-time employees or full-time continuing term employees and commit to a twelve (12) month serving capacity, regardless of their employment hours designation.

EDT Committee: Five members, two-year terms 2022-2024
For more information, please refer to the Nomination and Elections Policy and Procedures

Nomination forms will be emailed to members on April 14.  
The online election will open on May 10 at 9 a.m. and close on May 11 at 4 p.m.

Committee Updates

Joint Occupation Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC)


You can now reach out directly to the committee by emailing

Here are the minutes from the last meeting JOHSC Minutes.

Remember that you have rights as an employee:

  • The right to know,
  • The right to participate, and
  • The right to refuse dangerous work.

MRSA Events

MRSA Coffee Chat







You are invited to join us for coffee and conversation on April 21 from 10:00-10:30 a.m. via Google Meet. Please click this link or copy and paste this URL in your browser:

We hope you’ll join us!

MRSA Social Committee

Now that everyone is returning to campus and since the government lifted the limit on indoor gatherings as of March 1st; the Social Committee is excited to Welcome You Back to Campus!

SAVE THE DATE! -SPRING SOCIAL!  May 18 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Please put this date/time in your Google Calendar right now! You won’t want to miss our Spring Social event in May.  It will be held in our MRSA Staff Lounge and outside on the patio (weather permitting).  More information coming in the May Newsletter.

April Quiz - Rather than another crossword puzzle, we decided to do a quiz contest this month.  Let’s see how many of you binge watched Netflix over the pandemic. I might have done this. This quiz is Netflix based, but don’t worry, even if you haven’t binge watched these shows, you should be able to find the answers from your friends who did or the internet, so you can still play with us.  This quiz will be available during April and will close at 4:30 p.m. on April 29.  Open to all MRSA Members.

You can access the quiz here.

A $20.00 e-gift card prize will be given to the person who gets the most correct answers. Should we have people tie for first place, then a draw will be held with everyone who is tied with the correct number of answers. Good luck.

June is pride month; watch for more information about our participation in the May Newsletter.

The MRSA Social Committee would like to recognize the following important events for the month of April: World Autism Awareness Day, Chaitra Navratri, Hindu, Ramadan (Islam), Rama navami (Hinduism), Baisakhi (Sikhism), Mahavir-jayanti, Jain, Good Friday (Christianity), Theravada New Year, Buddhist, Pesach (Passover) (Judaism), Easter (Christianity), Holy Week (Christianity Orthodox), Palm Sunday (Christianity Orthodox), Birthday of Buru Angad Dev (Sikhism), First day of Ridvan (Baha'i), Good Friday (Christian Orthodox), Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, Laylat al-Qadr (Islam), International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, National Day of Mourning, Ninth day of Ridvan (Baha'i).  Best wishes to all who are recognizing and/or celebrating these occasions!

In an effort to become more inclusive, the Social Committee would like your feedback to help us become aware of any events or special dates that you celebrate that you would like acknowledged by the Social Committee.  Fill in this form to let us know. Submissions will be anonymous unless you would like to provide your name to help with an event.

If you would like to contact the Social Committee, you can reach us at

Lunch n' Learns

 As mentioned in the previous newsletter we have several Lunch n' Learns beginning this semester.  All Lunch n' Learns will be from 12:00-12:50 p.m. and are hosted virtually.  Shortly before the date you will receive a link to join.

 Human Rights and EDI - Tuesday, April 19, 2022

 To register please fill out this form.

 For more detailed descriptions of the Lunch n' Learn sessions.

 These topics are considerable, so these Lunch n' Learns will be a quick touch into these important areas of interest.  The goal of the Lunch n' Learn is to arm you with some vital information and resources so that you can feel empowered to exercise your rights, access process and support you in your workplace. Hope to see you there!

 Thanks to everyone who was able to join us on Feb 3 for the EDT Lunch n’ Learn. If you missed the session, you can access the recording and a copy of the slide deck here.


2022 PD Days: Save the Dates

The MRSA PD Committee is pleased to announce that the next instalment of PD Days will commence April 26-28, 2022. We are thrilled to be welcoming Amazing Race Winners Dr. James Makokis and Anthony Johnson as our opening keynote speakers on April 26, followed by 12 other exciting sessions. Session descriptions and speaker bios will be sent out in the coming weeks, along with registration links. Be sure to save the dates!

General Announcements

MRU Events/Notices

Masking on Campus

Employees can pick up a box of rated surgical masks at the rapid testing area in G100 (the old library on Main Street). Show your OneCard or ID to receive a box, which should last approximately 45 working days. If supplies last, you can then pick up a new box.

Planning for your retirement? 

It’s never too early to plan for your retirement. Mount Royal runs a two-day course titled Planning for Personal Freedom facilitated by a Financial Counselor who has been practicing in the industry for over 15 years. This hands-on workshop is designed for participants (and their partner/spouse) who would like to evaluate their ability to maintain their lifestyle at a chosen retirement date.

There are three basic objectives to the workshop: 

1. To identify and address any immediate issues with respect to your retirement plans, 

2. To provide a planning framework to help you plan long term goals, and 

3. To provide specific information in the key areas of lifestyle, finance and estate planning. 

A minimum of 30 employees are needed to run the workshop. If this is of interest to you please add your name to the waitlist and indicate your preferred time of year for the workshop (three choices). 

MRU Student Massage Therapy Clinic is Open - support students and get a massage!

Appointments are now available for you to book at a reduced rate while supporting students. The experience they gain in the clinic is a critical piece of their education and we are proud to provide this vital service to our community. Whether you need a relaxation massage or have a condition that requires therapeutic treatment, our students are trained to the highest standards nationally and can meet your needs. Book Now The $30 fee for one-hour massage treatments supports our student scholarships. Present your MRU OneCard for a special MRU Advantage rate of $20. Please bring exact change or a cheque.

For more information, visit our website:


Winter EDT Application Period Closes on April 30

If you have any professional or personal development courses that begin between January 1 - April 30, you can apply for funding through the MRSA EDT Committee. 

 Applications are submitted via the EDT database; MRU login credentials are required to access. The winter application period closes on April 30, 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact the EDT Committee at

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